Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 30, 2017

In the daily governance of Hong Kong, China has proven itself as a competent overseer. Hong Kong’s “Basic Law”, a kind of mini-constitution imposed not by referendum, keeps the SAR autonomous. Hong Kongers have only two reasons for complaint, having not chosen the Basic Law for themselves and the gentrification of Chinese money re-defining native Hong Kongers as a new lower class living among some of the most expensive real estate in the world.

Crud hit the fan, however, when Beijing decided to “vet” Hong Kong politicians in advance. The Basic Law makes no direct provision for advanced-vetting, a statutory or policy decision heavily subject to interpretation. Youth are often quick to complain. In the minds of Hong Kong youth, Beijing’s advanced-vetting policy is a violation of the Basic Law. Accordingly, Hong Kong youth have no interest in learning about the Basic Law from Beijing.

Now, Beijing has planned a Hong Kong -wide broadcast from a Mainlander—a Chinese speaking from Beijing’s view—to educate Hong Kong students about the Basic Law. Schools are under no obligation to participate in Beijing’s offer, so the public is led to understand. But, when your higher authority vets your politicians without a word-for-word clause to justify it, then invites your school to optionally learn how to follow the law, it is difficult not to feel some kind of pressure to “volunteer”.

The best thing for China to earn good will is to rescind the advanced-vetting policy in favor of Hong Kong’s local interpretation of the Basic Law and to allow only three schools to listen to the Basic Law address, applying with good reason. That’s “basic law” of supply-and-demand economics. But, those ideas may be difficult for the Communist regime to quickly grasp.

So, it looks like China’s path ahead will see plenty of conflict and strife. The student objections to the Basic Law seminar will by no means be the last, nor will it be Beijing’s last attempt to educate Hong Kong’s population.

The US has its own approach to PR. Notice how Korea made fewer Western headlines this week, though the situation is far from finished. Trump’s planned visit, purportedly to include the Korean DMZ, is certainly a bold move to demonstrate courage from a leader and to eclipse North soldiers’ respect for Kim Jong Un who wouldn’t dare to get close. Don’t be surprised if Trump walks right up to the border and speaks through a megaphone and says, “Where is Kim Jong Un? He can talk to me. Your leader is a coward. Don’t trust him.” Don’t be surprised. Such a move befits Trump and would begin a cascade of implosion from within the Kim Dynastic ranks.

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Encore of Revival: America, October 30, 2017

Many establishments are imploding—Europe, big entertainment, the political establishment. Many people press forward for love, truth, and life without animosity. Old establishments resist and impugn themselves.

Suspected Russian money dubiously making its way to Trump’s campaign advisor, Manafort, neither indites nor acquits Trump or Russian collusion, but suggests that someone was attempting to interfere, both through secret operatives and smear campaigns. Mueller is getting into deeper hot water, now including CNN. Russianewsgategate, continues to expose corruption, but not where originally purported by the “exposers”.

Reconciliation and loyalty are powerful. As of press time, the best bet for Kevin Spacey and Anthony Rapp would be to repair damage and cooperate against the immoral addictions that plagued their industry long before either of them became actors. Neither attacks the other, but they only speak in humility. They have a perfect recipe for lemonade. If NetFlix drops Spacey, their own “house of cards” will fail, just as “acquiesce-management” style backfired on the NFL, Limbaugh’s sponsors’ response over Sandra Fluke, General Motors’ surrender to union demands, politicians’ white flag addition, and others. If Spacey stays on, House of Cards ratings will rise and Hollywood corruption will fall. Anthony Rapp needs a soapbox role in Season 6.

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Encore of Revival: America, October 23, 2017

The world is a different place from when Reagan left office. Just a few years after a long series of events, Russia and the US ended the Cold War under George HW Bush. Since then, three presidents—two Democratic and one Republican—have had double terms. Now, it doesn’t so much matter whether arming-up is right or wrong, but that arming-up makes sense now when it didn’t 25 years ago.

Russia has been more and more aggressive, retaking an old militarily strategic part of the Ukraine. China is getting ready to launch aircraft carriers with a 30 year vision to become a global power. While no decision has been announced, the US is getting ready for a Cold War era “standby” of nuked-up bombers ready to launch at a moment’s notice. North Korea’s fate will be the soonest test of whether the move was wise.

All the nuking up with Russia and the old enemies came up in the Mueller investigation. It’s starting to look like the Obama administration, along with the Clintons and an interesting list of others, made it possible for North Korea to get the nukes it did. Russianewsgategate backfired, just as Symphony suspected.

The NFL is also continuing to slip. For too many years, business theory touted the virtue of cow-towing to any and every form of criticism from everywhere and anywhere. If a mouse doesn’t like the cat food, the cat food company must change its formula. It happened with Limbaugh’s sponsors, now it happened with the NFL. By catering to demands from the wrong people, the backbone customers felt betrayed and took their business elsewhere. If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything and the NFL, even for a brief moment, chose not to stand. Now, the NFL seems to be truly becoming historic, in more ways than one.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 16, 2017

It’s not quite there yet. Korea’s conflict escalates, but there’s still more mount to climb. Trump is increasing weapons sales to South Korea and Japan, based on a September 5 Tweet; North Korea called him a “strangler of peace” and a “war merchant”. Mattis told the Army to “Stand ready”. Hawaii is rehearsing for attacks.

Most of the talk is to get everyone psyched-up plenty of time in advance—soldiers, nations, and peoples. The timing, however, will come at a convergence of defenses being in place and opportunity being open. Then, the US will either strike with “just cause” or “strik-taliate” as it did with Pearl Harbor and the Lusitania.

In the meanwhile, expect the escalation to continue. Expect more Navy strike groups to be directed. Expect the USS Ford to replace the decommissioned USS Enterprise and the USS Reagan to replace the USS Vinson, somewhere in East Asia. Three aircraft carriers, two on their way in and one their way out is certainly a military peak. But, also keep an eye out for a shift in types of Korea-related headlines followed by a quiet from central command. Once the press release statements resemble a ship casting off, that’s what you call a clue. And, we haven’t been clued in quite yet.

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Encore of Revival: America, October 16, 2017

The NFL was a distraction. Some might say it still is. Trump is dismantling the Obama administration’s work piece by piece, but most of the Anti-Trump TV time is focused on the NFL. Many Americans who never cared about politics before spent their Sunday afternoons and Monday nights absorbed in the NFL. It was a “bread and circuses” entertainment model that centered around shoving its head in the sand where politics were concerned. When the NFL allowed their rules and their players to get political, the business violated its DNA and it was only ever going downhill from there.

Since, Americans have gotten more involved. Some have gone more Left, some more Right, but more good people are getting involved. The problem now is anger.

The nation is run by demagoguery and populist fads. Few understand critical thinking. Every idea is presumed to be part of an agenda, even at the coffee shop. Anti-Trumpists are feeling what Trumpists have felt for a long time: They aren’t getting what they want. After a few years, they might realize how much they have in common with the “other guy”. Many do already.

In the short run, America will see more and more hissy fits. But, eventually, they will talk to each other, see the results of policy and the consequences of election, and get their facts sorted out.

Strange as it sounds, American politics owe a great deal of gratitude to the NFL after all.

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